NINE outstanding works by artists such as Edward Burra, Elizabeth Frink, William Roberts and Graham Sutherland will go on display today (Thursday, October 5) as part of the Ilkley Art Trail in a new exhibition which considers the impact of the two World Wars on the lives of these key artists.

The paintings are selected from the internationally renowned Methodist Modern Art Collection. The artists represented may have been serving officers, war artists, Red Cross volunteers, refugees or have grown up during wartime on the Home Front. Many turned to religious painting as part of the healing process. The exhibition has been curated by Ilkley resident Professor Ann Sumner, a trustee of the Collection, who said: "One of the best known paintings in the collection is Graham Sutherland’s The Deposition signed and dated in 1947. The emaciated figure of Christ was influenced by a booklet Sutherland saw with contained harrowing images of the Nazi Holocaust survivors at Belsen in April in 1945. His emaciated figure of Christ in this work is inspired by those images and suggests that even in the bleakest moments of suffering there is hope."

The Sutherland was one of the earliest works to be acquired for the collection by the founder Dr John Morel Gibbs, a Methodist Layman in 1963. He had lost his own father in World War I and was a conscientious objector during World War II. More information about the fascinating story of how this collection came into being will be given at a lecture on Thursday, October 5 The Story of the Methodist Modern Art Collection at 7.30 pm at Ben Rhydding Methodist Church.

The Collection can be seen in its entirety in Hull during the City of Culture programme from October 21, 2017. For further details contact Ann Sumner 07889331909 or Christopher Solomon at Ben Rhydding Methodist Church.